UFC 290, which took place tonight (Sat., July 8, 2023) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, was a wild night of fights with tons of great matches and a lot of finishes — some brutal, some lightning fast and some ... both. It’s the kind of night where it’s too bad that UFC only gives out four $50,000 performance bonuses: one to each of the athletes in the “Fight of the Night” and then two to the best finishes.
But, as usual, UFC managed to make the hard choices and boil things down to the final worthy four. Here’s who made an extra 50g’s in “Sin City” tonight:
- Fight of the Night: Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Moreno
- Performance of the Night: Dricus Du Plessis
- Performance of the Night: Denise Gomes
For us, it looked like Dan Hooker vs. Jalin Turner would win “Fight of the Night” ... right up until Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Moreno put on an epic 25-minute scrap for the Flyweight title. Moreno looked poised to defend his belt after the second round, but Pantoja waged a blood and guts war to win the belt via split decision.
Rematch? Considering Pantoja is now 3-0 against Moreno, we may have to wait a bit for that.
Dricus Du Plessis was a +350 underdog coming into his fight against Robert Whittaker, but he once again proved the bookies wrong by dropping Whittaker on his butt halfway through the second round (watch highlights). We’d say it was on par with Robbie Lawler’s storybook knockout of Niko Price (watch it), but you can’t argue that Du Plessis’ win had more importance.
And hey, if earning the fastest knockout in women’s Strawweight history isn’t worth $50,000 then we don’t know what is. Denise Gomes was another big underdog who everyone was overlooking. Yazmin Jauregui was the undefeated (10-0) hotness who was going to light up the division. Until she wasn’t. Gomes stormed in and knocked Jauregui out — possibly more than once — in just 20 seconds. It was violent and it was awesome. We approve of this performance bonus.
Overlooked this time in our opinion? Jesus Aguilar’s spectacular one-punch knockout of Shannon Ross on the early “Prelims” undercard (see it). It was another fast one: 17 seconds. It was so clean yet so nasty. And we really hope Aguilar gets something for setting the tone for the rest of UFC 290.
Let us know if you thought anyone else was overlooked in the comments, Maniacs!
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